Whether they are found in England, Serbia or the Far East, these dragons and the bright young men who dispatch them as much by luck as by wit all seem wonderfully alike. Spicer varies the stories with an occasional tragic ending or tall tale conclusion and she packs every one with a full share of complications -- treacherous partners, helpful/spiteful old crones, magic spells and tricks. Thus the action is passably exciting and the sources, from ballads (""The Laidly Worm of Spindlestone Heugh"") to the Bible (the adventures of Daniel), are sufficiently varied. However, Spicer never seems to find her own voice, and the uneven narrative -- sometimes contemporary, sometimes colloquial, sometimes sprinkled with awkward ""los,"" ""naughts,"" ""straightways"" and ""vons"" -- invests the dragons with neither awe-inspiring exoticism nor homely familiarity. And in the company of Manning-Sanders' Book of Dragons or Roger Green's Cavalcade. . . . this thirteen looks like an odd lot indeed.